A Cradle Song - (2016)    

William Butler Yeats

for soprano or mezzo-soprano and piano

 for a son

The angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.

God's laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with his mood.

I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.

2 pages, circa 2' 15"

W. B. Yeats


Given two poems by Yeats with this title, this was first published in Scots Observer, April 1890, and published in the collection, The Rose, 1893, and again revised in 1901.



The setting of many harmonic sostenuti and in sometimes polytonal colors is gentle, intended as marked rubato a piacere and imaging long rocking-like arches, is a simple song form in which the three short strophes of the poem do not match stanzas in the setting. "The Sailing Seven" is a reference to the Pleiades, stars in an open cluster sometimes observable in the night sky and named after a Greek tale of the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. For other settings of Yeats' texts, click here.





The score for A Cradle Song is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


A Cradle Song